Is Anyone using a home energy monitoring system? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 03-13-2013, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Bentham5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I am doing a fairly large project with all new hvac as well as building a home theater and my energy consumption has always been through the roof. I average 2,000 KWH a month already and my new additions may cause it to increase. I had an electrician laying out wires tell me I have some type of electrical problem, because 2,000 KWH is way too much for what I am using. He said I should install an electrical monitoring system to figure out where the power is going.

I have see a bunch of plug in ones that you have to manually plug everything in but I don't want to do that. i also see the energy detective that has mixed views.


Anyone recommend a product for this application?

Thanks

Brian
Bentham5 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 Old 03-13-2013, 07:47 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jjeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 9,791
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Liked: 86
I just have several Kill-a-Watts I use. $15 or less on sale, you could purchase many for what a more complicated setup would cost(which I personally don't know anything about). I only really plug mine into things that draw a lot of power like refrigerators/freezers and maybe more used TVs for a month at a time.
jjeff is online now  
post #3 of 14 Old 03-14-2013, 05:17 PM
Senior Member
 
Tschmidt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Milford, NH
Posts: 303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I love my kill-a-watt to measure appliance power but you may have excessive power draw by stuff that is hard wired or a 240v appliance. Cannot use a kill-a-watt for that.

Get a clamp on ammeter. Open up your circuit breaker panel and check the current draw for each circuit. I'd log the reading and do it at different times of day - since some stuff may not be on constantly.

If you want real time monitoring check out the TED Energy Detective but it is not going to be all that useful to identify a specific load.

http://www.theenergydetective.com/

Good luck.
Tschmidt is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 03-19-2013, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Bentham5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks. The Kill-a-Watt is essentially a band aid for my problem. There is no way to monitor in real time what you are using and you cant monitor anything that is hard wired like a dishwasher or oven.

The Energy Detective is closer to what I am looking for but the reviews are all over the place from working great to many who say it didn't work at all.

I have also found eMonitor and eGauge which look pretty good because the monitor real time at the circuit level. They just are very expensive$650-$1,000.

Paying $700 or more the little I will save by monitoring my energy I will loose with the price of these.
Bentham5 is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 03-20-2013, 11:23 AM
AVS Special Member
 
McDonoughDawg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 20
My local power company sends me a detailed report each month. Power used x cost of power= send in the check. smile.gif

Peachtree City Golf Cart Rider
McDonoughDawg is offline  
post #6 of 14 Old 03-22-2013, 06:30 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Speedskater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 2,030
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 18
An EE (GAR) in Michigan that posts on the electrical forums, has an e-book on using "TED" and reducing electrical usage.

http://www.beta-a2.com/energy.html

Kevin
Speedskater is offline  
post #7 of 14 Old 03-24-2013, 07:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
BiggAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 101 Post(s)
Liked: 48
There are systems out there that can continuously monitor each circuit and generate reports each week or month so that you can see exactly where all the power is going. They are certainly a good idea to monitor usage long term. Do you have an electric heat? If you have electric heat in a house, that would be expected. If you don't, then that's a LOT.
BiggAW is online now  
post #8 of 14 Old 03-25-2013, 03:55 PM
AVS Special Member
 
sneals2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 7,034
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked: 46
Don't know about the US, but in the UK (and other parts of Europe) Energy monitors that use clamp-over detectors with low power RF transmitters to a display panel are quite popular. Many of them will data log and allow offloading via RS232 or USB connections (some have had their protocols reverse engineered for better analysis using Raspberry Pis or other low power computers like Pogoplugs etc.)

UK example here : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Owl-USB-Connectivity-CM160-Electricity/dp/B0041H6VXI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364251899&sr=8-1

However UK electrical installs are quite different to the US - we usually have a single 240V supply for all devices split into circuits - wall sockets, lighting, high-current appliances etc. - whereas I believe the US has a mix of 240/220V and 110V circuits - so this may make things a bit trickier? Not sure.

NB - these devices aren't amazingly accurate - particularly on devices with complex power factor stuff going on. However they are better than nothing and probably quite useful for relative calculations?
sneals2000 is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 03-25-2013, 04:59 PM
AVS Special Member
 
BiggAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 101 Post(s)
Liked: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Don't know about the US, but in the UK (and other parts of Europe) Energy monitors that use clamp-over detectors with low power RF transmitters to a display panel are quite popular. Many of them will data log and allow offloading via RS232 or USB connections (some have had their protocols reverse engineered for better analysis using Raspberry Pis or other low power computers like Pogoplugs etc.)

UK example here : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Owl-USB-Connectivity-CM160-Electricity/dp/B0041H6VXI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364251899&sr=8-1

However UK electrical installs are quite different to the US - we usually have a single 240V supply for all devices split into circuits - wall sockets, lighting, high-current appliances etc. - whereas I believe the US has a mix of 240/220V and 110V circuits - so this may make things a bit trickier? Not sure.

NB - these devices aren't amazingly accurate - particularly on devices with complex power factor stuff going on. However they are better than nothing and probably quite useful for relative calculations?

The US basically has a +120 to ground and a -120 to ground, and if you go from +120 to -120 you end up with 240...
BiggAW is online now  
post #10 of 14 Old 03-25-2013, 05:10 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jjeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 9,791
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Liked: 86
To add to the above, most every residents has two wires(plus ground) coming into the house, half the devices in the house come off circuit breakers hooked one side and half to the other. Things like larger air conditioners, large air compressors, electric stoves or large permanent(hard wired) heaters will be hooked up to both hots to get 240. Of course we are 60hz ac while most of the rest of the world is 50hz ac.
A typical house will have 30+ 120v breakers and a few 240v breakers, most 120v breakers are 15 or 20 amps(14 or 12 gauge copper wiring). 110v and 120v(or 220v/240v) are one in the same, most power is closer to the 120v.
jjeff is online now  
post #11 of 14 Old 03-25-2013, 07:03 PM
AVS Special Member
 
BiggAW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 101 Post(s)
Liked: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

To add to the above, most every residents has two wires(plus ground) coming into the house, half the devices in the house come off circuit breakers hooked one side and half to the other. Things like larger air conditioners, large air compressors, electric stoves or large permanent(hard wired) heaters will be hooked up to both hots to get 240. Of course we are 60hz ac while most of the rest of the world is 50hz ac.
A typical house will have 30+ 120v breakers and a few 240v breakers, most 120v breakers are 15 or 20 amps(14 or 12 gauge copper wiring). 110v and 120v(or 220v/240v) are one in the same, most power is closer to the 120v.

Europe is 50hz, but there are all four combos of 120V/240V and 50hz/60hz in the world. Yay for standardization! rolleyes.gif

Yeah, nominal where I live is 119/238 for voltage. Newer houses use all 20A for plugs with 12 gauge, and 15 amp/14 gauge for lights. Older houses use all 15A for both.
BiggAW is online now  
post #12 of 14 Old 03-26-2013, 11:03 PM
Newbie
 
rkohli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I am in India. We have 220V 50Hz 3phase supply and consumption is around 3500kwh a month. I have also been looking around for a energy monitoring system. The ones that I have narrowed down to are
1. EKM
2. TED 5000
3. OWL
To me the choice appears to be between EKM and Owl.
Let me know what you finally decide on
Rajeev
rkohli is offline  
post #13 of 14 Old 03-27-2013, 03:03 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jjeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 9,791
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Liked: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkohli View Post

I am in India. We have 220V 50Hz 3phase supply and consumption is around 3500kwh a month. I have also been looking around for a energy monitoring system. The ones that I have narrowed down to are
1. EKM
2. TED 5000
3. OWL
To me the choice appears to be between EKM and Owl.
Let me know what you finally decide on
Rajeev
When you say 3-phase, is this in a standard household or commercial application and what do you get between the phases? In N. America we have 3 phase but really only in commercial/industrial applications. Older 3 phase is 120v/208v while newer buildings will generally use 277/480v and large transformers to convert that down to 120v for things like standard outlets and incandescent lamps. Our 120/240v household AC isn't really 3 phase but as Biggaw said, +120v/-120v which when combined gives 240v between the two hots(120v from each hot to ground/neutral).
I've always kind of wondered how the home AC works in Europe for higher powered appliances, I mean do they have a higher voltage than 220v(like our +/- for double the voltage) or is 220v it?
jjeff is online now  
post #14 of 14 Old 03-27-2013, 05:29 PM
AVS Special Member
 
sneals2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 7,034
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked: 46
You guys really don't want to know about Britain...

Almost all of our appliances have plugs that contain fuses (3A, 5A, 10A or 13A usually), and wall sockets are usually individually switched. The appliances are fused because we mainly use ring mains for wall socket power distribution with 30/32A fuses and breakers on the ring (at 240V), allowing an individual appliance that was unfused to draw high currents without tripping/blowing the distribution fuse/breaker, and potentially causing a faulty low current device's thin cable to melt... (The appliance's plug fuse will blow and protect against this)

Think the UK is unusual in this approach, which is a system introduced when we changed our appliance plug/sockets and wiring scheme post war. The ring main system used less cable in a time of scarce resources (as the current was split between both sides of the ring, lower current cable with less metal could be used). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_circuit

However we don't have the US issue of two separate 'halves' - all equipment runs at 240V of a single neutral and live pair (with an earthed neutral). We also don't have any standard 2-pin plugs. Devices that don't need a ground (such as double insulated devices) have a plastic earth/ground pin. This is because the Earth/Ground pin is longer, and opens shutters that prevent access to the Live and Neutral connections until a plug is introduced into the socket.

And most importantly, our plugs are designed to sit on the floor with the pins pointing upwards to impart maximum pain when you tread on them barefoot. rolleyes.gif
Tschmidt likes this.
sneals2000 is offline  
Reply HDTV Technical

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off